Syd Strike

Leadership Activity – Blind Card

Trainer guidelines


You will need a blindfold for each delegate and a strip of card for each delegate.  Each strip of card should be a different length ranging from say a few cms to 30 cms. 

This is an icebreaker aimed at highlighting various aspects of decision making and confidence.

Put the delegates into teams of between five to fifteen people.  If there are more than fifteen people then divide into two groups.  Ten is a good size group whereas four may be too few for this activity to be effective. Issue everyone with a blindfold and tell them to put it over the eyes and leave there until the end of the activity.  Then ask the delegates to hold out their hands so that you may place an object in them – you may say it’s not nasty! Now put a piece of card in each person’s hand.  Make sure the cards are mixed in terms of size e.g. if people are standing in a line make sure one person has a large strip whilst the person next to her or him has a small piece etc.

Read the instructions below…

"Ladies and Gentlemen I want you to form a straight line in the correct order. You have five minutes"
(NB This instruction is intentionally unclear as it is intended to push the delegates into agreeing their interpretation and making their decisions)

Observe the activity but DO NOT speak.  When delegates have finished this activity they often ask your permission to take off the blindfolds.  DO NOT ANSWER. It is their decision.

You may notice some people taking a sneaky look but do not get involved.  Hopefully someone will prompt the group to take off the blindfolds.  Sometimes however they do just stand and wait for you to give permission.  If this happens then whenever you feel the time is right ask them to take off the blind folds.

Although the activity is given five minutes it is often advantageous to let it go longer in order to see what decisions people make or avoid.


For the review ask the delegates to form smaller groups, say around five people and to discuss what they think they learned about decision making, confidence and leadership.  There are no right and wrong answers.  The aim is to get them thinking about their actions.  If you wish you may lead on the discussion to make comparison to situations at work.

Please note that during this activity delegates will be blindfolded and therefore it is best to keep each team at a safe distance.  During the activity watch to see that team members are safe and don’t bump or knock each other.

During the activity don’t speak to the delegates unless you are giving instructions regarding safety.


Back to Treasure Chest

Lao Tzu

Around 500BC Lao Tzu is believed to have written the Tao Teh Ching

He wrote:
A leader is best when people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
Fail to honour people, they fail to honour you:
But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say ...

"We did this ourselves"

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